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RCMP announces Settlement in Harassment-Related Litigation

News release

The RCMP announced that a settlement has been reached between the RCMP and the plaintiffs in two class action law suits filed on behalf of female current and former regular members, civilian members and public service employees. The settlement is subject to approval by the Federal Court.

Merlo v. Attorney General of Canada and Davidson v. Attorney General of Canada, were filed on the basis of harassment and gender-based discrimination, in March 2012 and March 2015, respectively.

The settlement includes an independent claim process and compensation scheme for women who experienced gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination, bullying and harassment in the RCMP from September 16, 1974 to the date the settlement receives court approval.

The settlement acknowledges the RCMP’s ongoing efforts to eliminate gender discrimination and harassment in the RCMP and includes several new initiatives that will be implemented on or before December 31, 2017.

These initiatives will be added to established RCMP programs that support a respectful and inclusive workplace and a commitment to increasing the number of women in regular member, executive and officer positions to 30 per cent by 2025.

Additionally, in the presence of plaintiffs Janet Merlo and Linda Gillis Davidson, as well as the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Commissioner Paulson issued a formal apology to women for any harassment they endured while in the RCMP.

…to all the women who have been impacted by the Force’s failure to have protected your experience at work, and on behalf of every leader, supervisor or manager, every Commissioner: I stand humbly before you and solemnly offer our sincere apology. You came to the RCMP wanting to personally contribute to your community and we failed you. We hurt you. For that, I am truly sorry.

– Bob Paulson, Commissioner

Today’s announcement of a settlement between the RCMP and plaintiffs in two proposed harassment-related class-action lawsuits closes the door on a deeply troubling and unfortunate period in the history of our national police force. It is an encouraging moment, demonstrating a deep desire on the part of all parties to move forward in a positive and constructive manner – starting immediately. It is also a demonstration of the commitment to helping ensure that all women serving as RCMP members, employees and RCMP cadets can feel safe and respected amongst their colleagues and superiors.

– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness